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20.10.2013 New content patch (formerly known as expansion) by Imrahil

On October the 8th the newest expansion of EverQuest was officially released with the ominous name Call of the Forsaken. With this expansion SOE is continuing down the road they have started to walk upon with the last expansion <8>Rain of Fear (RoF), meaning that they are splitting up the content and releasing it during the following year. A huge difference lies in the even smaller initial part of the expansion compared to RoF. People last year were already complaining about the small number of raids available after the release, but this year it really doesn't feel like an expansion, considering that a total of four (!) new raids is available - the lowest number of available new raids since LoY, which wasn't even officially named an expansion when it was released (it was called a content pack and later changed to expansion).

To be honest, from my point of view such a title would be more appropriate for CotF also in its current state, because quite frankly this is NOT an expansion yet, neither from the number of raids, nor the new zones, new AA or the number of missions and quests. You can see that this isn't even a full tier of an expansion by the fact that only half of the visible gear is actually dropping in the currently available raids, the rest will be on future events which hopefully will come out soon (rumors talk about January).

With that little new raid content under the current paradigm to make raids accessible for almost every guild it can't really be surprising that all events were beaten on the release day by the usual trailblazer guilds who did put in the extra work to learn everything about the raids in Beta and how to optimize in getting the needed quests done to request the raids - kudos to them.

Talking about Beta - it seems that with this sort of content releases there is no real "race" anymore, because it is already over, before it even started, but IF you really have the ambition to finish among the very first, then getting knowledge in Beta might be the only option. This is something we in RF have not done for quite some time and personally I have always thought that learning everything on the life servers without previous knowledge is more fulfilling - we will have to decide how RF will handle this in the future. Despite our lack of Beta infos we were able to beat the first event "Against the Doomscale Horde" as first guild serverwide, which was definitely nice.

Doomscale Horde

Sadly the servers had come up pretty much at the start of our raid time, so we didn't have the needed quests finished for another raid, so we had to come back the next day for more - as our own group trailblazers had done a great work on getting us raidable we were able to start working on the second event "Xulous Prime" until we finally downed it as first guild on AB just 30 minutes before midnight - was a nice feeling!

Xulous Prime

On Thursday the servers were brought down during the afternoon only to come back up 2 hours after our normal raid start. Now normally we would have said "whatever, we just take a day off", but with the new raids enough people were motivated to make raiding possible to a certain degree and we managed to work on the bixie raid (officially called "Saving Jacyll") a bit, although the overall number of raiders was not remotely close to normal due to people doing other stuff on an evening with such a late raid start.

So far, RF had done pretty well, but now the dreaded weekend arose - the bane of raid participation in Raging Fury for a long time (which is actually the reason why RF never raids on Saturdays EVER). Nonetheless our raid leader Insaneox was brave and tried to get the show going, but there is only so much you can do with more than 2 full groups missing - all those pesky folks who have to do other stuff on a Friday evening than playing EQ - how dare you!

The Bixie raid was actually a bit more challenging than the others as it brought one or two surprises, altogether I think it is actually a well-balanced raid with a new idea - not bad!

Saving Jacyll

Anyway, we finally finished the last raid called "The Houses of Thex" 1 week after the release including a second flag run on "Xulous Prime" and now the farming starts yet again...

Normally I conclude the first news update after all current raids of a newly released expansion have been beaten with a personal verdict on the raid game. This time though I can't do that, because obviously the miniscule addition of new raids is simply too small to judge the whole expansion yet. All I can say currently is that SOE will have to fulfill their promises regarding more content or this might very well be the last expansion I myself have paid 40$ for - what we have gotten so far would only be worth a quarter of this amount in my book and I think quite a few people share this point of view. People have in a way "prepaid" for a complete expansion and we all hope, that we will get what we paid for in the end...

I am deeply sorry if these news aren't as elaborate or witty as previous news might have been (at least I hope, some people enjoyed them), I simply adapt to the current trend in EverQuest itself - smaller bits with less interesting content garnered with the hope for more soon (tm).

Finishing off with 2 little quotes:

First of all, the invention of collections you can assemble in EQ brought some new items with funny names which make up for a few laughs:

Pulv has a cage

Second, RF has the most manly warriors EVAH! I mean, generally our "Rainbow Warrior" (OMG, will the French Secret Service now try to sink us?) is normally Daze, but this time it appears that Swordweaver wants to be one too:

Rainbow Warrior

Now imagine that hat on a rather big and ugly troll warrior and you have a fearsome picture indeed!

PS: Even the quotes seem to be less, I blame SOE for that lack too!

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